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Apple, Mobile Phones Top McAfee’s List Of Potential Targets

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(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (KNX1070) — The internet security firm McAfee Tuesday released its 2011 Threat Prediction Report and Apple, mobile devices and geolocation services topped its list for potential targets.

In the past, criminals haven’t targeted the Apple platform mostly because it wasn’t very prevalent in the marketplace but that’s expected to change in 2011, according to McAfee Director of Messaging Security Research Sam Masiello.

Masiello Chats with KNX 1070’s Dick Helton and Jack Popejoy About Release of McAfee’s 2011 Threat Prediction Report

“Criminals used to shy away from pretty much the Apple platform because it wasn’t very prevalent out in the marketplace, but now that we have more and more people that are buying Apple products and buying Apple services, criminals are going to start targeting them more frequently,” Masiello said.

In addition, Masiello cautions that installing applications on devices such as iPhones, iPads and iPods could potentially leave consumers open to attacks.

“Sometimes people are installing these applications not really knowing potentially what the impact of security could be on their device by installing it. So by the fact that these devices have become so prevalent in the marketplace so quickly, the application developers or people who are creating the applications for these devices are creating them in such a rush that sometimes they aren’t incorporating good security in these applications, thus potentially leaving these devices vulnerable,” he said.

“Security companies like McAfee are actually deploying and launching services that are targeting the mobile devices as well so there are anti-virus platforms that are starting to become available for mobile devices as well as your typical laptop and desktop,” Masiello added.

Lastly, Masiello cautions that social networking sites are expected to be the most targeted in 2011.

“More specifically… what are called Geolocation services. There are several out there right now – FourSquare, Gualala who allow you to check-in at certain places,” he said, adding that criminals can then look at what your interests are based on where you check-in and can then start sending you targeted types of spam messages.

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